The Buffalo Sabres played host to the New York Rangers at the First Niagara Center, looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since December 13-15, 2014.
Unfortunately, that dream would not be made into a reality tonight.
Things started fast for the Sabres, against a Rangers’ goaltender who had been making his National Hockey League debut.
Matt Moulson, 14 seconds into the first, finds himself wide open, and he put the puck home for his 10th of the season. Not only did this goal open the scoring, it was Moulson’s 300th career point and his 150th career goal.
Moulson’s goal is the fastest goal to open a Sabres game since Tyler Ennis scored a goal 10 seconds into a game on 11/13/13 vs. St. Louis.
Buffalo’s lead would unfortunately be short lived. The Sabres caught themselves flat footed and out of position, which allowed the Rangers to capitalize minutes later.
After twenty minutes, things were tied in Buffalo but momentum appeared to be swinging in the Rangers’ direction.
Once the second period began, Rick Nash took only 37 seconds to confirm that aforementioned suspicion.
Nash’s 37th goal put the Rangers up 2-1. This goal would be the start of a very good period for New York.
New York would not stop there, in the second.
Mats Zuccarello would put the Rangers up 3-1, at 8:05, with his 12th goal of the season.
Everything Buffalo did in the second period was just not enough to stop New York.
The Rangers found themselves controlling play throughout much of the second period, as they had for most of the first.
This was no more evident than New York’s 31-12 shots on goal total after two periods.
Buffalo needed a strong and focused game plan heading into the final period, if they wanted any shot at drawing even.
While the Sabres came out and started putting more shots on net in the third, the Rangers had this game on cruise control.
The Rangers did not score in the third period, but neither did the Sabres.
New York would wrap up this one, 3-1. It marks the first career victory for Rangers’ goaltender Mackenzie Skapski, in his National Hockey League debut.
With this loss, the Sabres fall to 17-38-4 on the season with 38 points.
The Sabres take the ice again Sunday night against the Predators. Puck drops a little after 6 PM, and the game can be seen on MSG.